Seriously this is my favorite soup right now. Pasta e fagioli, move over.
I adapted this recipe I found on Pinterest, via Huffington Post. I was craving some heavenly crusty bread and a delicious, hearty soup mmm but I didn’t have tons of food in my house and there was no way I was going grocery shopping after work. That’s just the worst. That and forgetting you have no gas in your car and you’re already late to work.
I made a few changes to the linked recipe, including these healthy modifications: there was no way I was going to put a 1/2 cup of oil in my soup. I mean, c’mon. Really? You don’t need that. I loved the idea of adding risotto to my soup, but a full cup is 3 servings worth of risotto, and then you might as well make some risotto and say screw soup.
So for those of you who are not familiar, “ceci” means chickpeas in Italian, and they are the star of this dish. Chickpeas and mini San Marzano tomatoes (So cute. Thank you Trader Joes!) are simmered in a low-sodium vegetable broth, with fresh rosemary and lotsa gahlic for the perfect comfort food. I added some sun-dried tomatoes too for an added sweetness.
The secret to making this dish creamy without adding any cream, is to blend up some of the soup and toss it back in. I’ve actually licked the blade after doing this — that good. (don’t do that.)
Look at that plating! Sometimes I get a little chef-y and I wipe the plate clean around the edges. Like I’m not about to eat this on the couch and watch Netflix.
Then I got a little crazy and I swirled some fresh ricotta on top and THAT was the best idea I had that evening. That, and trying Trader Joes’ Greek Vanilla Frozen Yogurt after contemplating it for the past 3 weeks. And brewing espresso on top of it.
Ceci y San Marzano Zuppa
- 1 1/2 can rinsed and drained garbanzo beans
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup risotto
- 8oz San Marzano mini tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or Roma (plum) tomatoes, halved
- handful of sun-dried tomatoes
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- crushed red pepper & freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Olive oil and/or spray
- Grated pecorino or parmigiano, or 1 tbsp fresh ricotta.
Heat large pot to medium heat and spray generously with oil, or drizzle enough extra virgin olive oil to lightly cover bottom of pan. You really don’t need to overdo it. Once hot, add halved tomatoes. *If using plum tomatoes, skin (boil for a few seconds to loosen) quarter, and chop.* Tomatoes will soften and burst in a few minutes. Add garlic and toss in pot. Add chickpeas and chopped rosemary. Stirring often , let flavors combine and chickpeas soften. Remove 1/4 of soup and place in blender/food processor. Blend until thick and creamy and toss back in soup. In around 10 minutes, add 1 cup of broth and stir. Now you sort of play it by ear. Add risotto after liquid has started to absorb and add 1/2 cup of liquid at a time. Keep an eye on the soup, add liquid as needed. Soup is done when risotto is cooked through, around 20 minutes.
Serve with parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino and fresh rosemary. Or, swirl a little ricotta if you’re feeling daring and gourmet.